Giannis’ head was spinning as he drove home after dropping Rachel off at her apartment. Not only had he mustered up the courage to kiss her, a feat which he had not allowed himself to even believe possible, but she had reciprocated by kissing him again after they had said their goodbyes. To steady his still-racing heart, he reached to the cupholder and brought the water bottle of smoothie to his lips, which still tingled lightly from the unfamiliar sensations that they had just been exposed to.
To his dismay, however, the bottle contained barely a drop of the fruity drink. His vision briefly flashed in panic – he still had fifteen minutes to drive, and no smoothie to calm him down. He was driving by a small convenience store as he realized this, and briefly thought of stopping to see if they had any fresh fruit, but even if they did, he would have to pulverize it with his hands in order to even approximate a smoothie-like texture. So, instead, he sped up his driving, going 45 miles per hour through the quiet Milwaukee neighborhood. He knew it was troubling that his jubilation at his successful date with Rachel had so quickly given way to smoothie-withdrawn anxiety, but it was hard to dwell on that fact for long when every molecule of his body was yearning for a smoothie.
When Giannis got back home after what had seemed like an impossibly long car journey, he sprinted to the door and, after struggling with the lock in his haste, ran to his refrigerator, where there were enough premade smoothies to last him several days if necessary. When the first gulp of smoothie touched his tongue, he immediately felt more at ease, and he resolved that he would keep a stash of smoothies in his car going forward. They would get warm, sure, but warm smoothie was better than no smoothie.
Later, as he cozily lay in bed, he couldn’t help but let his mind wander. The kisses with Rachel must have eliminated some kind of mental block for him, because his imagination was taking him into much lewder territory than it ever had before. With those thoughts in mind, he went to sleep.
“If you tell me that you didn’t even kiss her last night, I’m going to straight up punch you in the jaw,” John Henson said as he sat across the table from Giannis, eating an Eggo waffle without utensils. John had returned to the apartment sometime in the middle of the night from whatever escapades he had been involved in.
“Yes, I kissing her,” Giannis answered sheepishly, turning red. “Two time.”
John clapped his hands. “There you go! There you go!”
“It was nice,” Giannis continued. “You were right when you say that Rachel want me to kiss.”
“You can’t rest on your laurels though,” John said. Giannis wasn’t sure what “laurels” were, but he didn’t interrupt. “Making out with her is like step one. You don’t want to get stuck on step one. You want to do all the steps.”
Giannis shook his head. “I wish not to thinking that far ahead.” However, he had spent much time the previous night thinking that far ahead, and remembering it made his face feel hot. He sipped his smoothie to cool himself off.
“Listen up,” John went on, and Giannis prepared to listen closely, even though he knew that the advice that his teammate gave him was often completely misguided. “I get with women all the time and I know what works. You’ve already said you’re reluctant to send this girl pics of your meat rod, but the thing is, she might pay you back in kind with naked pics of her boo-”
“John, I really want you not to saying these disrespectful things of Rachel,” Giannis interrupted. “I not want Rachel to do such thing.”
“I’m totally being respectful,” John argued as he got up to microwave another waffle. “You’re the disrespectful one for dismissing my ideas so easily. You can’t go on dinner dates until the end of time and expect to get anywhere.”
This comment cut Giannis deep, because he don’t know what kind of date to have with Rachel next. He was starting to think he needed to get advice from a teammate who was familiar with the dating side of relationships. He got up from the table and went to his bedroom, where he browsed through his phone contacts one-by-one to try to remember what their relationship status was.
Some were young players who, like him, hadn’t experienced much of the world. Some were guys who, like John, had no interest in a serious relationship with a woman. Some had been traded, some had retired, and some were just not that fun to be around. But, halfway down the list, he noticed the name of a favorite veteran who had successfully navigated the dating waters and was now a settled-down family man.
Giannis dialed the number and waited for the call to be picked up.
“This is Ersan.”
“Yo Ersan, it’s Giannis, you wanna going the mall for smoothies later? I need to talking you about something.”
[Ed. note: I am fully aware that Giannis has a real-life girlfriend (and a real-life beej bell), but damn it, I’m not done with my story.]